28 November 2012

South Africa: Labour Minister Must Set a Date for Farmworker Wage Revision

press release

The IFP accepts indications from the Minister of Labour, Ms Mildred Oliphant, that it would be impossible to meet farmworkers' demands by 4 December 2012.

IFP Spokesperson on Labour, Mr Albert Mncwango MP said, "The IFP urges the Department of Labour to come up with a new wage structure that will be fair to farmworkers, because what they are earning now is ridiculous. But we understand that this cannot be done within a week. Clearly there is much for the Department to consider and assess, before a new structure can be determined and implemented. Rushing ahead could have negative consequences down the line."

The IFP calls upon the Minister and other parties involved to explain thoroughly to the farmworkers why the new wage structure cannot be implemented on 4 December 2012, and to commit now to an appropriate date for implementation.

If this is done, farmworkers are urged not to continue with the strike but to wait for the right processes and proper channels to be followed by the Department of Labour in implementing their new wage structure, as this will be to their benefit.

However, Mncwango warned, "The Department should not take too long to implement this new wage structure as that will cause frustration among farmworkers, who may resort to violent strike action like they did in the past weeks. The Department must ensure that the rights of farmworkers are met and that, at the end of the day, everyone is satisfied with the resolution of this matter."

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